This week - Filth and disgustingness (Dirty Sanchez: The Movie), a dystopian look at London 2027, (Children of Men) and the sequel to Clerks, (Clerks 2).
Today's Friday Film News is going to be a little different in terms of order. Usually the first spot is given to the most hyped film of the week, or the most worthy film. However, as the focus of this post is supposed to be the reviews and not necessarily the films and so first up is Dirty Sanchez: The Movie. Why? you ask. Simply, because James Christopher in the Times gives it no stars. Cracking.
Dirty Sanchez: The Movie is the most tasteless, bankrupt, execrable and pointless piece of cinema yet made... Four male delinquents, most of whom hail from South Wales, perform a series of puerile sado-masochistic stunts which only a zombie would find hilarious. They stick fish-hooks through their penises, shoot pellets at each other at point-blank range, spit in each other’s mouths, eat frozen faeces, drink vomit, superglue their nostrils, and staple their tongues to restaurant tables. What larks.
Mr Christopher "couldn’t watch half of Dirty Sanchez without wanting to retch."
Anthony Quinn in the Independent (1/5) writes
This lot just lap up the pain, so calling them exhibitionist morons and dismissing their lame movie is roughly equivalent to a Chinese burn. Indeed, given their appetite for humiliation, a one-star review might be to inflict on them exactly what they want.
But they've already had an unprecedented no star review Anthony!
So this movie is utterly appalling and despicable and generally no star... wait, what's this? A three star review from Peter Bradshaw?
There are some films that you feel guilty and ashamed for enjoying. The Guardian has constructed a full-scale model of the Versailles railway carriage in the staff car park for me to be led into, with head bowed, where I will publicly declare in a broken and quavering voice that I found Dirty Sanchez: The Movie entertaining - after which I will sign the instrument of surrender, abnegating my right to be considered a person of good taste.
That Bradshaw is one sick puppy.
When the Baftas come to be given out, I wonder if the boys will be invited to climb into their dickie-bows and join Dame Helen Mirren up on stage. For sheer self-destructive lunacy, they deserve something.
What an image. So who do we believe? The highbrow Mr Christopher or Mr Dearth-of-good-taste, Peter Bradshaw?
Well, consider this, the film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. They recommended that a sequence featuring a man sucking excrement from the anus of a live rabbit would need to be removed before the film could be classified '18'. So it's not as bad as it could have been.
Next up, Children of Men.
Peter Bradshaw obviously had a good time reviewing this week, as he also enjoyed Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men, giving it 4/5
Set in the South East of England in a dystopian 2027, what impresses Bradshaw most is the grim picture it paints. It is like "an opened window on to a world of Arctic fear and despair." This "thinking person's action movie" is "outstanding ... a gun battle between the terrorists and the army is a bravura piece of work, deploying a very scary sort of first-person shooter graphics; incredibly, it turns Bexhill into a Middle East warzone"
media-watchers will be intrigued to see that in 2027 the London Evening Standard has evidently seen off web and freesheet competition to stay in its monopoly pole position on the capital's sandbagged streets.
One of the cleverest touches is the ancient, manky sweatshirt Theo (Clive Owen) wears -advertising the London Olympics of 2012. To us, it is a symbol of London's last-ever demonstration of untroubled national rejoicing, when this country was awarded the Games, before that mood was cruelly shattered by the 7/7 bombings.
James Christopher in the Times (3/5) and Anthony Quinn in the Independent (3/5) also enjoyed the premise and vision presented by the film. For Christopher, "Cuarón’s crazy dystopia knocks V for Vendetta and 28 Days into a cocked hat." however, "the footage of zebra trotting down The Mall, deer rambling through empty school buildings and flocks of sheep in wartorn Bexhill is frankly ridiculous.".
Quinn has similar problems,
One small problem: I didn't believe any of it, not the fertility cataclysm, not the police state, not Michael Caine as a boho activist in a Jimmy Savile wig, not the battlefield finale in which Bexhill - yes, Bexhill - starts to resemble Stalingrad circa 1942.
So if you're willing to suspend disbelief, this looks like the film of the week.
Last up, Clerks 2, a sequel to Kevin Smith's first, much lauded, film.
Wendy Ide in the Times gives it 3/5, describing Smith as "an inconsistent talent",
Dialogue is his strength: free- wheeling, stream-of- consciousness parries that sound like the in-jokes of long-term friends. The joy of Smith’s wit is that it rarely seems written.
However, according to Ide, "Smith has always been less adept with female characters." the main female role is the "least convincing of the main characters".
Summing up, Ide writes,
It is a film saturated with Smith’s nostalgia, both that of a thirtysomething family man for his youth, and that of a film-maker for his stellar introduction to the world of cinema. The result, despite the crass humour and the obsession with anal sex, is arguably his most self-aware and mature film to date.
Bradshaw in the Guardian also gives it three stars, writing that,
It could be a retrograde step for Smith to revisit his first film, and it feels strange to hang out once again in that 90s world of video-clerk nerd-connoisseurship.
However, most importantly, "the laughs are still there"
Less impressed is Anthony Gill in the Independent who awards it two stars, unimpressed by its "scatological profanity" and the plot, which is "limp as week-old lettuce".
Other films out this week - Trust The Man (Two couples face crises in their respective relationships. Will they fight to save them? - an appalling looking romcom), Rabbit Fever (A mock documentary looking at the world's best selling vibrator.), Keane (A young man struggles with the disappearance of his six-year-old daughter from a New York port authority station), Eros (Three short films by arthouse stars address the themes of love and sex.)
Trailer of the week - Fur